We've got exactly what we wished for. After being rather impressed by Sony Ericsson's ultra-small Xperia X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro, we couldn't help but wonder what Sony Ericsson's heavily customised Android OS would look like on a phone with a middle-of-the-road screen that sits somewhere between that of the monster X10 and the tiny X10 Minis.
And that's exactly what we've got here. The screen of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 is three inches in size, so slightly smaller than the 3.2-inch norm as seen in the likes of the HTC Legend, LG Optimus One and many, many more Android phones.
The good news is the X8's touchscreen uses capacitive technology, so it's immediately more usable than other entry-level Android phones like the LG GT540 and Vodafone 845, which use the cheaper, less sensitive resistive technology. And don't work.
The form factor of the Xperia X8 is identical to that of the X10 Mini – only bigger. Which means a curved back with easily removable cover, three silver buttons beneath the screen – Android-standard Menu, Home and Back – along with the camera and speaker around the back.
The top edge of the phone features the micro-USB connector, which has been covered by a little plastic stopper to stop it accumulating handbag dust. Also here is the power socket in the middle and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Down the right-hand side sit the metallic-effect volume rocker and physical camera button. Sadly, as with the Xperia X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro and many other new entry level Android phones, there's no optical or physical trackpad on the X8.
And that's your lot. The phone itself feels solid and well-made, especially considering its £140 SIM-free asking price, with tough buttons and a solid screen.